Probably the first thing that crossed your mind when you first decided to start your own business was ‘How do I become successful?’ Great high-quality product, a lot of clients and in-your-face marketing campaign might be some of the things that you thought were the correct answer to that question.
OK, let’s imagine that they are for a minute. Now ask yourself: How are you going to make that awesome quality product and how are you going to improve it in the future? Where are you going to find the clients and can you cater to their needs even after they’ve purchased? And let’s not forget the marketing you’re planning on doing!
It’s clear – you can’t do it alone. You’ll need trustworthy, hard-working, loyal, competent and creative employees. Where can you find them, you ask?
Nowhere. Yes, you read that right. Nobody is born a perfect employee. Great employees are created.
How? Well, that we can try to help you with it.
1. Tailor the Tasks to Their Abilities
First of all, we’re not talking about hiring an accountant only to later discover that he can paint exquisitely and then giving him a canvas and a paintbrush so that you can ‘tailor’ the job based on his abilities. We’re talking about specific tasks that are a natural part of the job.
Having cleared that up, let’s give an example. Let’s say you have an analyst with an ability to see patterns from data and write excellent reports based on that, but he’s really slow inputting data into Excel.
You can go two ways here: 1. Provide assistance and further training, or 2. Make him focus on what he’s already good at and delegate the other part of his task to another employee. And the best thing is that both options are equally acceptable!
But how do you know how much time and effort each employee spends on each particular task? That’s where computer monitoring software comes into play. I know, it sounds invasive and evil, but it actually gives you many invaluable insights that can help both your company and your employees.
Employee tracking tool can measure the time that each employee spends on a particular task on in a specific app or website, letting you know exactly where your employees’ strengths and weaknesses are. So, delegate accordingly and you’ll get highly specialized efficient workers.
2. Foster Cooperation and Team Spirit
No man is an island. This goes for the workplace as well. Nobody will thrive if they are isolated in a hostile working environment with no one to talk to. Even if their job is essential in individual nature.
It does pay off to invest time, and possibly even money, into team buildings. Organize sports events, nights out or day trips for your teams and they’ll feel welcome and supported and they’ll know that they are a part of the team, not just a cog in the machine.
This is especially hard and important to do if you have a remote team who is working from different parts of the world. Remote worker monitoring goes a long way towards making sure everyone is on the same page and feels included.
3. Invest in Training and Support
If you thought that hiring experts will eliminate the need for further training, think again. An expert today becomes a novice the second a new piece of technology emerges or you take on a client with specific needs. The learning has to be continuous.
The first step is to know which areas are problematic for your employees. If you have decided to implement employee monitoring in the workplace, half of your job is done. All you have to do is isolate cases where an employee is significantly slower than others and that’s where you should jump in and help out.
There are numerous ways to act on the data that employee monitoring provides: bring in specialists, pay for online courses (or just provide the resources, there are a bunch of free ones out there too), send employees off to seminars and conferences and so on.
4. Give Regular Detailed Evaluations
There are many negative perceptions among the workers about employee evaluations. They might see them as stressful, pointless or just plain awkward. But if you do it right, they can be an amazing opportunity to provide your employees with constructive feedback and actionable tips on how to improve and be even more successful.
You can do this the old-fashioned way – via client reports, peer reviews or using your own observations. Alternatively, or additionally, you can do it using hard objective data on their productivity levels.
To this end, you can use your employee monitoring software (we told you it offered many benefits, didn’t we?). Based on the data, you can tell your employees when they’re doing a great job and which areas they should work to improve.
Do this regularly and seriously, and allow your workers to have a say in the matter as well.
5. Encourage Breaks and Free Time Activities
In other words, don’t turn them into robots!
Frequent short breaks have a positive effect on productivity and your employees are going to appreciate it. One-hour lunch break is mandatory in many countries, but it’s really important to make sure your workers actually take this time to eat and relax.
Basically, healthy workers equal happy workers, which in turn boosts productivity and loyalty.
Another thing which is often overlooked is encouraging free time activities and hobbies. To be fair, you can’t force anyone to love hiking or knitting, especially considering that they’re not actually at work then. The point is, though, not to do anything to hinder their interests.
This includes calling them outside working hours for every minor thing, expecting them to be available 24/7 all year round, bugging them when they’re on vacation or at weekends, the list of terrors goes on and on. Don’t do this and your workers will actually be more willing to work when they’re supposed to.
6. Treat Them as Your Equals
They might not actually be your equals in terms of authority or responsibility. But that doesn’t mean that you should just issue commands and ‘program’ them to listen to you, no questions asked.
Giving your workers unlimited opportunities to ask, suggest, complain and speak their mind makes them more creative, critical and involved. You never know, one of their ideas might be just what you needed to close a client or improve product quality.
Which brings us nicely to the last point:
7. Make Them Care About the Job
If your employees are just executing your commands without knowing anything else about your business goals, successes, values and overall progress, they’re just not going to care.
Having robotic employees who can’t see beyond their computer screens can only get you so far. To actually succeed, you need people who want to stay in your company, but you also need people who care and who are willing to go the extra mile for you.
So, share your successes and your failures, make the workers care about the business as much as you do. Give them pay raises if you’re doing great, and explain what’s going on if you have to cut costs. Treat them as living and breathing parts of your company who deserve to be kept in the loop.
And there you go! One last thing to note is that although you should be aiming to put all seven of these tips into practice, how you decide to do it is entirely up to you. Whether you choose to use employee monitoring tools or good old pen and paper for evaluations, or whether you opt for weekly laser tag team building or just giving your employees enough time to spend with their families in the afternoons, you need to make sure that you treat them as valuable human factor helping you grow your company.
And don’t forget – their success is ultimately your success!